Data. Not one of my favourite subjects. The word haunts me in my darkest nightmares. Even the sound of it just screams “extreme boredom”. I had to get over it for this session, though. Especially considering it was what it was based around.
Actually, the title of the session was, more accurately, ‘Data, Modelling & Simulations’. Fortunately, it was more down my street than I expected. Infographics! I love design, and creating digital graphics, so I was happy.
An Infographic is, basically, a graphic that provides information on a particular topic. Being a Pinterest user, I was used to seeing this kind of thing. As seen in the 1st two pictures I’ve inserted onto this blog post, they can be either quite amusing and used for comedic effect, or are genuinely created to show information which can usually be interesting! I’m a coffee fiend so I find the 2nd picture quite interesting to read.
We got the chance to make our own today and began by looking at some websites provided through Helen’s Pinterest Board for Infographics and Data.
First, my group started off playing around with a chart tool called the Pictograph Creator. This was fun, but very simple, and only a low level of customization. I like to have full control when designing graphics so was disappointed.
Moving swiftly on from that, we began using Piktochart. Piktochart was fun to use, although the free templates weren’t exactly inspiring! As you might have picked up on, I’m quite the critic when it comes to design. Which isn’t really all that necessary considering the career I’m going into. Though it could be argued that this could help to create a new breed of super creative teachers with an eye for design and technology! Maybe I should begin recruiting…
But I digress.
To create the Infographic, we had a bit of a mindmap and decided to ask the question “What is the most popular favourite colour in Group 4?” Although it wasn’t particularly original, it was something we could work with and could provide us with the freedom to explore all that Piktochart and Pictograph Creator could do. This was the outcome of our project:
Wasn’t quite finished by the end of the session, but I think it was close enough to upload! We not only played about with the infographic creator, but we also wrote about what steps we had used, and how we’d gone about achieving those steps.
If I were to use infographics in lessons, I think I would make one from scratch, if I had the time, using Adobe Photoshop/InDesign/the like. The websites, however, are very good for a quick fix if time-limited! I like this idea of using an infographic to put across information to the class.
Infographics really provide so much opportunity as a stimulus or just to enhance the learning process. They could also work well in differentiation if the children got an opportunity to make one themselves. Children who were more able could explore all the websites making infographics, and children who find using technology more difficult could use the more simple websites, like Pictograph Creator – which is simple but definitely effective!
Whilst doing some further reading, I found Tony Vincent’s Pinterest Boards interesting for other ways using data in the classroom – which is worth a browse! He, with some other people, have pinned some great websites. Similarly, by reading TechChef4U’s blog, I picked up lots more inspiration for creating infographics, and built on my resources by browsing the links that the writer had inserted. I was aware of some of the websites already, like Visual.ly and Edmodo (the latter mainly from Tony Vincent’s Pinterest).
So, all in all, I had my eyes opened in this session to the variety of things I could do with data in lessons. Maybe I should be open-minded more frequently…